Our theology about God is rooted and grounded solely in Scripture. All we can ever know about God is what He has chosen to disclose to us. What, then, does God reveal to us about Himself? Here are 10 things God tells us in Scripture.
1. He is the only true God. The Scripture is clear, there is only one true and living God: “I am the Lord, there is no other; there is no God but Me” (Isa. 45:5). As Christians, we are monotheistic, that is, we believe there is only one God. Polytheism believes in many gods. Pantheism believes god is in everything and everything is god. Atheism says there is no God, but biblical theism says there is only one God and there is no other god beside Him. Our God is unique. The Bible tells us He is a person. He is intelligent, knowable, and has a personal will.
2. God is Sovereign. He is omnipotent (all powerful) and able to do all His holy will. He tells us in Jeremiah 32:27 that there is nothing too hard for Him. God’s sovereignty speaks to His rule or reign over all things. It would not be fair to say God can do anything because His sovereignty is consistent with His holiness and all His other attributes: therefore, God cannot lie, He cannot sin, He cannot deny Himself, He cannot be tempted with evil, and He cannot cease to exist. Simply put, God’s sovereignty means He is able to bring His will to pass however He wills. While God’s freedom speaks to the fact that there are no external constraints on His decisions, His sovereignty speaks to the fact that by His own power He can do whatever He pleases: “Our God is in heaven; He does whatever pleases Him” (Ps. 115:3).
3. God is Holy. The word holy is often used in Scripture to speak about the Christian being separated from sin and separated to God. But when Scripture uses the word holy to describe God, it is speaking not only of His righteousness and perfection, but of the reality that He is separate and different from us. This word speaks to His transcendence or the fact that He is infinitely exalted above all of creation. Isaiah 6:3 tells us of the angels around the throne, “They were calling to one another: ‘holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of His glory.”
4. God is Infinite.He is eternal. He has neither beginning nor end; He has always been and will always be. Time and space do not limit God as they limit us. God is not subject to the special laws of time and space, which confine us. He is timeless: “With the Lord one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like one day” (2 Pet. 3:8). He can act within time or outside of its limitations. Truly, this is incomprehensible to us. As limited, finite beings, who ourselves are confined by time and space, it is difficult for us to even conceive of this aspect of God, but Scripture tells us He is eternal.
5. God is Omnipresent.There is no place He is not. He is everywhere at all times. There is no place where we can escape the presence of God (Ps. 139:7-10). Furthermore, He is in no way diminished by His being in all places at all times. He is present everywhere in all His fullness. This too is difficult for us to understand, so we must say with the Psalmist, “This extraordinary knowledge is beyond me. It is lofty; I am unable to reach it.” Suffice it to say that God is all places at all times and there is never a place where He is not.
6. God is Omniscient. He knows all things, past, present and future, the possible as well as the actual. There is nothing which escapes His knowledge or understanding: “Before a word is on my tongue, You know all about it, Lord” (Ps. 139:4). Even the thoughts of our hearts are known to Him. From the beginning, He knows the end and from the end, He knows the beginning. His knowledge is simultaneous as opposed to successive. That is, He knows all things at all times. He is never learning or in the process of learning, as Open Theists would have us think. God has always known all things and always will.
7. God is Unchanging. The technical term is “Immutable.” When we speak of the Immutability of God, we are talking about the fact that He is not capable or susceptible of change, either by increase or by decrease, by development or by self-evolution. He is unchangeable, invariable, and permanent. God does not change: “I the Lord do not change (Mal. 3:6). Not only does God not change, but His moral principles do not change. He is who He has always been and will always be who He is. “You remain the same and Your years will never end” (Heb. 1:12).
8. God is Righteous. He is the standard by which fairness and justice are measured. God’s righteousness means He always acts in accordance with what is right and is Himself the final standard of what is right: “His works are perfect and all His ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is He” (Deut. 32:4). What a wonderful thing to know that God is righteous and just! We know that someday, every wrong will be made right and everyone of us will stand before Him and give account. Although we may be surrounded by injustice on this earth, in the end, justice will prevail because our God is the personification of what is right and just.
9. God is Merciful. While God is just, He is also gracious and merciful. This speaks to God’s patience and His longsuffering with His fallen creations: “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love” (Ps. 103:8). Mercy speaks to God withholding punishment that we do deserve, while grace speaks to His giving us good things we do not deserve. God is indeed merciful.
10. God is Love. This means God is about the business of giving Himself to others: “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love” (1 Jn. 4:8). Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:45 that God’s love is for all of His creation, as He causes the sun to shine and rain to fall on the just and the unjust. God loves all of His creation, and does so with a selfless and sacrificial kind of love. Volumes have been written on the love of God. While many try to explain it, God is always about the business of inviting us to experience it. Throughout Scripture, we see the evidence of God’s love, ultimately fulfilled in the giving of His Son Jesus to pay the penalty of our sins.
Perhaps as you’ve been reading this article, you’ve thought about other things you would like to learn about God. Things like His wisdom, His goodness, His self-sufficiency, or His glory. Maybe you’ve thought about His beauty, His peace, or His faithfulness. All of these things are topics about which books have been written. We’ve only scratched the surface.
In my next article, we will consider what impact these truths have on our lives.